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Lake Lanier fishing report: Trout, bass biting at deeper levels

POSTED: January 15, 2009 11:37 p.m.

The temperature of Lake Lanier is hanging around the mid to upper 40s.

The rain has resulted in the lake coming up three feet. Lake levels are 1,056.2 feet and the lake is 14.8 feet from the full pool of 1,071 feet. The main lake is clear to stained and the creeks are slightly to very stained from last week’s rains.

The Chattahoochee River is clear.

Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466. Charleston, Clarks Bridge, Shoal Creek and Tidwell Ramps are open!

Some reports say that bass fishing is great while other anglers have been struggling.

The deep bite is going to be your best bet with the colder temperatures, but don’t completely rule out shallower fish.

Spotted and largemouth bass will seek warmer water, and the stained water in the creeks warms on sunny days, even if it’s cold out. Over all, the stained water in the creeks has been more productive than clearer water on the main lake.

My Humminbird Electronics are essential tools year round. Look for baitfish and bass on your electronics.

The bass will tend to be in groups this time of year so if you get a couple of bites, work that area thoroughly. Use a «-ounce  Flex-it or Hopkins Spoon and jig this lure up and down just slightly above the bottom.

Work areas that are 20- to 50-feet deep around steeper banks or creek channels. If your electronics are set up correctly, you should actually be able to see your lure as it moves up and down on the screen. You may also wish to work soft plastic worms, Jig N’Pig Combinations or SPRO Buck tails in these same areas.
If you do encounter shallow fish, use a finesse worm on a jig head around the dock, which warm the water around them. Also use crank baits worked slowly during the active feeding periods and try Texas and Carolina Rigged worms too.

Live minnows are always good bait for bass. Fish minnows below a slip bobber set to 15-feet deep
Striper fishing has been pretty good all winter and many anglers are reporting catching a good number of fish.

The action may happen anywhere on the lake, so move around to find the active schools. Use blueback herring or medium shiners on a flat line when the stripers are up swirling on the surface.

Pulling trout on a planner board behind the boat is also a great way to catch these shallower fish.
I checked in with Hammonds and they say that the herring are working a little better for the shallow stripers, while trout will produce best when they are deeper. With the low prices that Hammonds charges for bait, I would recommend buying a few dozen bluebacks and a dozen trout then let the stripers tell you which they prefer.

There are also some reports of guides catching lots of stripers on umbrella rigs up in the upper lake creeks and the Chattahoochee River.

Crappie fishing is slow. The fish are relating to deeper wood. Continue to try crappie minnows on a downline or jigs and spoons at 15–25 feet. These fish will be in tight groups but they can be very lethargic, so work your offerings at a very slow pace.

Trout fishing is still slow. Countdown Rapalas or Yo Suri Pins Minnows using a twitch and pause action around the rapids has been a good method where live bait is prohibited.

Eric Aldrich is a part-time outdoors writer, bass fisherman and a member of Humminbird’s, SPRO, Gamakatsu and Hammond’s Pro Staff. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. If you would like to email him please do so at esaldrich@yahoo.com.or check out his website at www.aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!



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